Recent studies indicate that both loneliness and isolation are linked to the likelihood of having a stroke. This particular study found that those that did spend their days by themselves had a 30 percent additional risk of suffering from a stroke or developing coronary heart disease. That’s about the same additional risk that would be taken on by someone that has a very stressful job. The data came from a series of studies, ranging from three to 21 years in length of time following subjects. Over 181,000 people were observed for this.
This study begs a very important question: would increased companionship have prevented these strokes from occurring? That’s a great point, and while there’s no clear answer to the question, it does reinforce the need for having high quality senior care available for elderly family members. As we go about taking care of the older people in our lives that we love, we should take this into account. Maybe they aren’t at a high risk of having a stroke, but that doesn’t mean that they should be left alone. No one likes to spend their days in isolation, and whether stroke is or isn’t a concern, we should be taking steps to make sure that they have both the proper care and supervision, as well as companionship.
In-home care is an easy and affordable way to provide care and companionship for the people that we love. It might not completely prevent a stroke from occurring, but we do have multiple forms of evidence that indicate that this does help to improve both physical and mental health. As responsible and loving family members, this is one of our duties for our loved ones. We need to ensure that we are taking steps toward maintaining high levels of health and happiness, and we need to do our best to take preventative steps toward making sure that no future problems arise, too. While there is no way to be completely certain that nothing bad will happen, there are easy things that can be done, and providing companionship and care are two very easy things for most people to provide. If you do not feel that you can provide these things on your own, hiring a professional to step in and assist is the next best thing. In many cases, a professional can do much more than you can, even.
The above mentioned study was just an observational study, and researchers were unable to determine any sort of cause and effect. While the researchers couldn’t draw any definite conclusions, commonsense does tell us that companionship is beneficial. Even if there are no definite physiological benefits to having a caregiver, the safety and peace of mind that is acquired cannot be denied. And the mental benefits are something that everyone will benefit from. Friendship isn’t something that comes easy to the elderly, and having a caregiver to step in and not only help them stay safe, but to talk with them and provide company is an irreplaceable asset to your family.